New Day 1: The Annual Convention of the WordAlone Network will take place April 18 - 19 at Calvary Lutheran Church in Golden Valley, Minnesota. The theme for this year's convention is "It's a New Day!". Featured keynote speakers are Rev. Dr. Gemechis D. Buba, Director of African National Ministries in the ELCA and Rev. Dr. Bruce Wilder, Senior Pastor at Faith Lutheran Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The convention program will also feature representatives from Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC), Lutheran CORE, and Canadian Association of Lutheran Congregations (CALC).
In a March 8 email message to WordAlone subscribers, WordAlone President Pr. Jaynan Clark commented:
The theme, "It's a New Day!," for the upcoming WordAlone 11th annual convention is either a reality or just another catchy phrase meant to attract the confused, conflicted Lutherans out searching for faithful pastures in which to reside and take up the work of the "true" church.
"Oh for the love of God in Christ Jesus," let this gathering be about membership in your kingdom, alignment with you and your faithful followers, and not about more institutional concerns, self interest and agendas.
A new day is just that, a new start and all bets are off on how and what God might be up to. Except, we should be assured that it will include dying to self in order to be raised in Him.
Could we possibly put down the bricks and the blueprints of Babel and instead of building towers allow ourselves on bended knee to be formed, shaped and built by our sovereign Lord Jesus, into the cloud of witnesses only He can produce?

Another New Day: According to an ELCA News Release (ELCA Bishops Reach Consensus on 'ELM' Pastors, More Review Needed, on Monday March 8 the ELCA Conference of Bishops "reached a consensus" on a proposed rite for the reception of ordained ministers onto the clergy roster of the ELCA. The purpose of the new rite is to receive fully into the ministry of Word and Sacrament "individuals who have experienced an ordination that this church has not yet recognized." The intention is clearly to create a way for the 17 pastors who were ordained extra ordinem between 1990 and 2009 to be received as ELCA clergy.
The proposed rite might best be described as an affirmation of ordination: it reprises the commitments made in ordination and includes prayer and the laying on of hands by the presiding minister (ideally a synodical bishop), but acknowledges that these promises have already been made.
Bishop Margaret Payne of the New England Synod explained:
All of us without exception felt it was utterly important and essential that there be the laying on of hands and prayer as a part of a rite. We know there are some people who would like to use the word ordination -- we are not saying the candidates will be ordained -- but we are suggesting that we use words in the authorized rite that replicate the promises of ordination, and will in fact be words from the ordination rite.

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    The existence of a rite does not guarantee reception on the roster: candidates must first be approved for reception by the relevant candidacy committee.
    The draft rite will undergo both internal and external review and the final form of the rite must be reviewed by the conference of bishops, recommended by the presiding bishop's office, and approved by the ELCA Church Council. The Church Council's next meeting is April 9-11.

    International Women's Day and Daily Bread: International Women's Day is observed on March 8, and for this year's observance, the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) produced Women's Daily Bread, a special issue of Lutheran World Information to bring attention to some of the issues that impede equitable gender progress in the Lutheran communion and beyond. The emphasis on daily bread anticipates the theme (Give Us Today Our Daily Bread) of the LWF's 11th Assembly July 20-27, 2010 in Stuttgart, Germany.
    LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Ishmael Noko remarks in the the publication's forward:
    The prayer for 'our daily bread' is a petition for inclusive bodily and spiritual sustenance for all - not for some, as sadly reflected in today's reality. It also challenges the LWFs understanding of leadership from the biblical concept of vocation and priesthood of all believers.
    Included are brief reflections on the significance of daily bread from all the regions of the LWF and longer articles on a variety of issues: The Time Has Come for Female Lutheran Pastors in the Cameroon, The Church Must Challenge Theological Systems of Patriarchy, Women Solar Engineers Bring Light to Mauritanian Villages,Churches Oppose Trafficking in Women.
    A Eucharistic liturgy for International Women's Day is also provided featuring the Eucharistic Prayer Bakerwoman God by Rev. Dr. Alla Bozard Campell.
    The sending rite for the International Women's Day liturgy is a song from the Shuar, the indigenous people living in the rainforest between the Andes and the Amazon lowlands:
    Let us sing and dance!
    May all of you come!
    Arranged in a file
    May you come and dance!
    Arranged in a file
    May you come without feeling shame!
    Well dressed, having adjusted your tarachi,
    Having arranged your ornaments,
    May you sing and dance!
    Grasping one another by the hands
    May you dance!
    Grasping one another by the hands
    May you dance!
    Like the swallow which is moving his body to and fro,
    Like the hawk, which is making his circles in the air,
    May you sing and dance!

    The only attribution for the song is Rafael Karsten's 1935 monograph The Head-hunters of Western Amazonas. which gives one pause.

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